MAKE YOUR FUTURE LOOK BRIGHTER
Whether you’re stuck in a career you hate, struggling to get to the next step, looking for new ways to use your skills or considering launching your own venture, here are some tips from women whose careers involve self-reinvention at the Marie-Claire/Salesforce Future Proof Your Career event.
The panel: Fiona Mcintosh, Co-founder and Creative Director, Blow Ltd;
Antoinette Dale Henderson, Speaker, Business Coach, and author of forthcoming book, Power Up: The Smart Woman’s Guide to Unleashing Her Potential
Kathleen Saxton, Founder, The Lighthouse Company;
Heather Black, Founder of Supermums, the award-winning Salesforce Consultancy, Train-ing and Recruitment Agency.
Approach with curiosity
Start by finding out what’s out there, what specific roles there are and what they entail. Trawl the internet for information, connect with people on social media, but also get net-working so you can ask people face-to-face. Find relevant courses, online or otherwise. Your career is a matter of lifelong learning, so don’t be complacent.
Sometimes we hold back from a career move, when just going for it might be the very best thing. If you worry whether a job is right for you, go for the job and if you get it, give it a few months and make up your mind. It’s not all or nothing. And it’s not just whether you can do it that matters – will you thrive?
Identify your skills
Think about your current role and the skillset involved. How could they can be transferred to something else? If your skill is communication, how could that be used in a different career? And what new skills do you need to build up so you fit the bill?
What failure taught you
We tend to beat ourselves up over failures – perceived or otherwise – but we shouldn’t. Those trips and falls are invaluable for what we learn from them. Experiencing failure means you understand it better than anyone else, and you can use this to your ad-vantage.
Find the yin to your yang
If you want to launch your own venture, find a partner to complement your skills and share the challenge. It’s vital that this partner has a totally different skillset to yours, so you have distinct areas of expertise and don’t lack essential wisdom and contacts to make your business a success.
Make a plan
If you just leap into the unknown you could fall flat on your face, so make a plan and real-ly think about how you’ll make your transition. To do this, ask yourself ‘What do I want? How will I get there?’? Keep repeating those questions out loud until a clear plan forms and the whole thing feels more real.
The board you can’t afford
It really helps to talk to people who already do what you want to do, so you can find out the best and the worst of their role. And incredibly, the more senior they are the more like-ly they are to be willing to help you. So write, email, DM on social media – politely ask out-right for advice. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Ask for training
If you have a job you don’t love and want to boost your CV, ask for training within your company. But position it in such a way that will benefit them. Think about what your com-pany really need and how your training will help them to achieve it.
Use your whole network
Useful people aren’t just high flyers in your field of interest, or up and coming entrepre-neurs. Think about who you know… former colleagues, friends from uni and school, book club friends, your neighbours. Help and advice can come from the most surprising plac-es.
Know your worth
We all tend to underestimate how good we are at what we do and how valuable that may be to an organisation. So own your strengths and remind yourself of your achievements. Yes, there may have been some dips in your career history, but don’t let negatives undo the positives.
Do for you
Gone are the days when we had jobs for life and an organisation would take care of us and our career until retirement. It’s up you to make your career go in the direction you de-sire. What are you doing for you?
Join a community
You can find a mentor, research careers of interest, learn in-demand skills, boost your credentials and connect to opportunities via the Trailblazer community.
Here’s a final word from Antoinette Dale Henderson: “There are times in all our lives when we feel stuck or lacking in self-confidence and this can hold us back. However, by getting re-ally clear on what we want, taking action every day and applying practical tools we can power ourselves towards success. This isn’t about ‘putting our big girl pants on’, ‘growing a pair’ or ‘manning up’, this is about going for what we deserve, so that we can smash through our own glass ceilings and fulfil our potential”.
Words: Marina Gask